340.1115A/2092: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

2788. Department’s 845 March 13 and your reply No. 1175 March 25. Question of return of Americans arises acutely again in connection with desire of nurses, doctors and others who went to England to meet an emergency there whose contracts have expired and who desire to return forthwith to duties here. Also involved are those individual cases of workmen covered in your No. 3027, July 16.22 These are additional to those Americans referred to in Department’s 845. In any plan worked out for return, all must have a fair opportunity.

What arrangements can be made for additional seatings on plane to Lisbon, bearing in mind that many officials now come directly by air to United States thus relieving some congestion on London-Lisbon run?
What will the Ministry of Shipping grant to provide some means of return quickly by ship, avoiding the assigning of Americans to slow freighters? In this connection it is noted that workmen referred to in your No. 3027 and a subsequent group have been assigned space on fast, large ship. Is this available for return of Americans in numbers comparable to those accommodated on eastbound voyage? If not, could not as many as two or three hundred per voyage westbound be carried?
What is your opinion as to advisability and feasibility of endeavoring now to effect a repatriation plan?
After consulting telegrams as noted herein and considering the full import of your No. 2960, July 11,23 please give the Department a complete statement of the situation as you see it, and the remedy, if any.
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed; this telegram reported the sinking of two ships on which 27 Red Cross nurses were coming to England. Nine arrived safely, 10 had been rescued and were still in Iceland, 4 of whom were in serious condition, and 8 were missing. (859A.48/5)